Prologue with Kevin Maurer
WHQR Gallery, 254 N. Front Street, Suite 300
January 14, 7 p.m.
WHQR Gallery will host a discussion with renowned journalist and author Kevin Maurer whose books have covered wars past and present. Maurer spent several years overseas reporting on American special-ops forces and the war in Afghanistan and has gathered many stories from soldiers over the years.
When asked why he decided to follow the war to move his career forward, Maurer replied, “It really wasn’t war that drove me at first, but it was the chance to tackle the biggest story of my life.”
The simple lifestyle war journalists live while overseas drew him to maintain his life as a correspondent. “[It’s] boiled down to its most essential bits,” Maurer says. “There are no cell phones. There are no errands. Your day consists of eating three meals, a mission or two, and a deadline.”
However, the stories he could help tell also gave reason for him to continue his coverage. “These are tales with the highest stakes and some of the best themes,” Maurer explains. “It comes down to the idea of fighting not for flag but for the man to your left and right.”
Maurer has authored and co-authored many books, like “Now Way Out” and “Gentleman Bastards,” which both portray soldier’s lives overseas, truthfully and respectfully. He co-wrote “No Way Out” with Mitch Weiss, which tells the story of how far soldiers will go to do what they are told, even if that means risking their lives. “Gentlemen Bastards” focuses on the Green Berets and their contributions to war. He also co-wrote “No Easy Day” with Mark Owen, one of the leaders of the mission to kill Osama bin Laden.
“No Easy Day” is a truthful and realistic depiction of the steps taken to kill bin Laden. The characters are real and flawed heroes who keep readers engaged throughout the book. Written in the first person view of Mark Owen, the novel gives readers a detailed look into the troubles and successes that the SEAL Team 6 went through to accomplish their mission. Maurer wants his books to allow a greater understanding for what a person has to do to be in battle.
“The best stories are the ones told by, with and through the men on the front lines,” Maurer says. “I think it is important for readers to understand the kind of sacrifices our service members perform for us.”
After living for years with soldiers overseas, Maurer has gained respect from those with whom he lived. He has been able to help tell their accounts of what it is like to be facing the war head on. As part of the event at WHQR Gallery, Maurer wants people to engage themselves into the discussion. “I think the best discussions are truly a dialogue with the audience,” he notes. “So come with a good question or comment.” —Julia Stevenson